Yesterday was a very special day. Together with Professor Ralph Eichler, the president of ETH, I received an award for “Standortmanager of the year 2011.”
For the non-German speakers “Standortmanager” is somebody who has a business leadership function and cares about the place/village/state/country they work in.
The award was in recognition of the very successful public-private partnership we created between ETH and IBM with the Binnig and Rohrer Nanotechnology Center that we opened in May. The organization awarding the prize felt that this partnership was something truly unique that held a lot of promise for Zurich and Switzerland to attract others to work on Nanotechnology right here, where Binnig and Rohrer invented the Scanning Tunneling Microscope.
I am very proud that our efforts were recognized with such an award – and we did get a nice sculpture to go with it.
The real thing though I am looking for are the future awards to the scientists that work in the Binnig and Rohrer Nanotechnology Center for work that they do in this unique research environment. Ultimately it will be those awards for scientific and technical excellence that will attract others to come and join us here in Switzerland to work in a field that holds extreme promises for our future.